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Zero-waste in lifestyle and building design: A zero-waste residential building design to stimulate a zero-waste lifestyle

  • Ham, Mandy (author)
Publication Date
Jan 31, 2020
TU Delft Repository
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My graduation project focuses on zero-waste, in lifestyle and building design. By choosing this graduation topic, I was able to tackle a problem that many cities are facing and will be facing in the future if nothing changes. The stock of natural resources is shrinking, which is caused by our consumerism and throw-away society. Cities are becoming more and more dense, because of the urbanization. And these problems together will create massive amounts of waste in the city that can’t be send to landfill because there is not enough space. And it can’t be burned because it creates to much CO2. And the fact that humanity is growing, will make the problem even bigger if we don’t change anything, because we will keep on extracting more and more resources from our earth and we will be sending waste to landfill more and more as well. If only we could change our lifestyle and the way we design buildings, a future in which resources can be used over and over again, will save our earth. The biggest challenge, is changing the lifestyle of people in their homes, as not much residential buildings or homes focus on waste streams. The building I’ve designed is a reflection of this tipping point. The iconic tower is designed by the idea that the building could collapse any time, but it is still holding up because it tries to change the way we use earth’s resources and the way we live today. The building tackles different social challenges regarding to live a zero-waste lifestyle. It supports a self-sufficient lifestyle by integrating a communal vegetable garden, a rooftop greenhouse and a shop with local products. Also, it reduces consumerism because the dwellings are designed including most of the furniture and the building accommodates a shared stuff library, which makes it possible for people to rent stuff and products we don’t use daily. The building also accommodates separating waste streams, as this is very important if we want to be able to reuse, recycle or rot products in the future. Next to the social challenges, there were also some technical challenges in designing a high-density tower. The structure of the building is made out of wood. The design reduces the use of materials, which means that the ‘ruwbouw-is-afbouw’ principle is used as well as the design is based on standard sizes, which reduces ‘waste’ materials on site. The building is designed in a low-tech energy-efficient way, so it is almost zero-energy on itself. The building is an addition to future sustainable developments, in which one of the larges problems to tackle is the exhausting of our earth. This building could change the way we design residential buildings and change the way we use them. The design is based on twelve zero-waste design guidlines which have been formulated by extensive research. By using these design guidlines, every future architect will be able to design a building that supports a self-sufficient lifestyle and a circular building. / Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences | Dwelling

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